What Is the Antidote to Business Anxiety?

February 23, 2017    |    David Mears
These days, business leaders are anxious. It’s not surprising.

According to Chuck Mitchell, Executive Director at the Conference Board, “2017 promises serious disruptions in geopolitics, trade, and cyber security. Add the threat of recession and you have high anxiety.” 1 

Former White House economic advisor Todd Buchholz put it this way: “We live in an era where almost anything can happen…We live in what I call the age of anxiety.” 2

Anxiety can be debilitating. Anxiety can make it difficult to think clearly or act effectively. And, it can take a personal toll.
 

The "ready-fire-aim" approach to problem-solving won't work.
When anxiety-provoking problems present themselves, it's tempting to react and rush to implement a solution before understanding its impact. But this kind of “ready-fire-aim” approach to solving complex problems or managing huge changes can be costly.

Business leaders understand this.

According to The Conference Board's new report, CEO Challenge 2017, business leaders are now being more proactive about building “skills, leaders, and cultures” that can respond to disruptive change with agility and innovation.

Yet "few leaders believe their workforces have the skills to make digital transformation a reality in their businesses. Investments in training are required.” 3


Clearer thinking and speaking is the antidote to anxiety.
While leaders acknowledge training is needed, what kind of training will be most effective at helping organizations navigate this age of anxiety?

In other words, what skills do people need to be able to create clarity from chaos and decisiveness from uncertainty? 

People must be able to THINK and SPEAK more clearly and persuasively. You must prepare your key people to be able to:

  • Calmly organize their ideas so they can be understood and acted upon quickly, even in high-stress situations
  • Succinctly make the case for innovation and action in the face of anxiety-provoking developments and “data overload” about available solutions.
  • Persuasively present their ideas so that those ideas are heard, funded, and implemented.

Without these skills, your organization’s best ideas will fail to see the light of day. And, you may see chaos and uncertainty prevail in the wake of the disruptive changes ahead.


Learn More
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Sources:
1 The Conference Board
2 The Orange County Register. "Economists offer 2017 outlook in age of anxiety at Irvine chamber event." Jan. 31, 2017.
3 The Conference Board